Relatives and friends of a California family who lost four members in a recent suspected DUI crash involving two other vehicles saw their heartbreak worsened this week by a break-in at the family’s home, according to reports.
Killed around 5 a.m. Nov. 20 on Interstate 80 in Nevada County were parents Antonio and Brittney Montano, both 29; daughter Marianna, 9; and son Antonio Jr., 5, authorities said.
The surviving child, son Julian, just 4 years old, suffered multiple fractures as well as head trauma. He was expected to recover and an aunt and uncle of the boy plan to adopt him, FOX 40 of Sacramento reported.
The family had been on the road to celebrate the mother’s birthday and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, reports said. But an alleged drunken driver traveling the wrong way on the interstate turned their outing into a tragedy.
Then Tuesday came more bad news: The family’s home in North Highlands, near Sacramento, was burglarized, with many of the family’s treasured belongings stolen, FOX 40 of Sacramento reported.
“That family has suffered unimaginable loss,” Chelsea Monahan, an attorney representing the family, told the station.
Suspect was on probation
A suspect in the crash has been arrested, identified as Michael Scott Kelley, FOX 40 reported.
Kelley, 32, was on probation following a previous DUI arrest, according to the California Highway Patrol, FOX 2 of the Bay Area reported.
He’s now facing four counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to the Nevada County (Calif.) District Attorney’s Office. The murder charges stem from the fact that Kelley was on probation, KCRA-TV of Sacramento reported.
As of Tuesday, Kelley remained hospitalized after suffering injuries in the crash, KCRA reported.
The break-in at the Montano family’s home happened Tuesday, according to FOX 40. Neighbors told the station they believe thieves entered through the backyard.
“The Montanos have now been victimized again by an alleged break-in and theft to Julian’s family home,” Monahan told FOX 40, “adding further insult to the immense suffering the family is already enduring.”
“The Montanos have now been victimized again by an alleged break-in and theft to Julian’s family home, adding further insult to the immense suffering the family is already enduring.”
Meanwhile, relatives of the family have established a crowdfunding page that had raised more than $100,000 in pledges for funeral expenses as of early Thursday ET.
“We want to have all four of them buried so Julian can visit his family when he wants, any time he wants,” uncle Anthony Gonzalez, the deceased mother’s brother, told KCRA. “I’ll go take him because they were taken away too soon.”
The driver of a third car involved in the crash suffered moderate injuries, the state highway patrol said, according to KCRA.